Do I still believe it?

1. We should do absolutely everything we can to push students as far as they can go – absolutely no excuses.

Absolutely – it is our job and our moral duty to do everything. However there is no such thing as ‘as far as they can go’. The possibilities are endless and the potential infinite. Anyone can learn anything and achieve everything.

2. There is never an acceptable time to give up on a student.

Couldn’t agree more

3. The only barriers to student progress are the ones we allow to exist.


4. Students can become more intelligent and, irrespective of whether you believe this, we must act accordingly.

Yes – students can learn to be better learners and intelligence is not fixed. However it is even simpler than this: With the right coaching, the right teachers and the right resources – anyone can learn anything. It’s all about identifying what needs to be learnt next and then teaching it and then continuing with this cycle.

5. Teaching is a drug and the best teachers keep going back for more.

There are ups and downs but the feeling when a student ‘gets it’ can’t be beaten.

6. The best teachers are those that are most passionate and most enthusiastic. They never give up.

It’s all about positivity – positivity breeds positivity – always keep going.

7. Every teacher needs a great mentor. Teaching is a collective responsibility.

Completely. A great teacher with good subject knowledge is far better than a good teacher with great subject knowledge. Just help the great teachers learn what they need to know to become even greater. Share the wealth.

8. The biggest impact upon student attainment is the teacher that stands in front of them. You raise attainment by improving the quality of these teachers.

Yes and what improves the quality of these teachers is when they understand that great progress is identifying and then continually teaching what students need next.

9. CPD must be exceptional. Teachers must leave knowing how to be better teachers.

It must be exceptional and everyone must be empowered to share their knowledge and skills in a supportive non-judgemental environment.

10. Improving outcomes involves improving  five aspects of teaching: subject knowledge, teaching strategies, an understanding of assessment requirements, vision and reflective thinking.

I still agree but I now think there are actually six. Teachers must identify what individual children in their classes need to learn next and teach that very thing using the best methodology for it. The continuation of this process then leads to great progress.

11. Great staff have great ideas, let them get on with implementing them and never say no.

Yes, it is this intrinsic motivation that sparks creativity. However school’s must have a ‘how’ a ‘way of doing things’ and as important as what this is, is actually having it.

12. Outstanding lessons involve challenging and realistic outcomes, well-matched provision, opportunities to assess outcome achievement and responding to this assessment.

It’s simpler than this, much simpler. Outstanding lessons move everyone on by assessing where everyone is right now and teaching them what they are ready for next.

13. The impact is more important than the provision.


14. Teachers must walk around and watch others. Leaders must incentivise staff to do this. If your stuck for an idea, the solution is probably in the room next door.

Schools must do everything they can to make this a priority.

15. ‘Hard to reach’ parents perceive ‘hard to reach’ schools

Yes – we must do everything we can to make them not just welcome but part of the school

16. A spiral model of learning is that which is most effective.

Yes – we must strike the perfect balance between the new learning and reinforcing and consolidating what has previously been covered.

17. We must encourage students to make links between everything that they learn, across all subjects.

We must and we must continually ask them to make these links.

18. Homework can have a dramatic impact on a child’s education, but only if done right.

But too often it is done badly. Home learning should be about allowing students to practise their skills so as to progress further. Anything else is a lot of effort for not a lot of point.

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